Feb 28, 2014

My Cooking Madness!

So, I like to cook.  I like to cook with a recipe to follow.  I like to cook when I have all the ingredients on the counter ready to go.  I like to cook when I have plenty of time and I'm not starving.  And I like to cook....alone.  I can get flustered easily, so it is best just to have a quiet environment where I'm alone with my recipe!  Well, insert said 5-year old into the picture with a husband who doesn't get home till later, and well, there goes that pretty picture I just painted!

During some down time at work yesterday I starting reading my normal blogs and browsing Pinterest.  I found the one of the recipes from Megan's Blog which led to me a few others as well.  So, I got my child busy with her homework and I went to work.  My goal was three new recipes, I only got to two... but they were delicious and I'm already excited for my lunch today!

Zucchini Boats 
Now, go ahead and tell me you don't like zucchini.  I hear it all the time.  However, zucchini actually doesn't have much of a taste when it is layered with other things.  I grew up with it fried...mmm...but, alas, that doesn't happen very often anymore.

This recipe was super easy (I used ground turkey) and the flavors were very nice.  It has about the same items I use in my stuffed peppers, but the ketchup (catsup?) made it taste a bit different, which was nice.  I did add some more seasoning though; garlic powder, Mrs. Dash Table Blend.

I also had to cook for about 35 minutes for my zucchini to get soft.  They were super yummy (and EASY!) and I will add to my food rotation!

Avocado Feta Dip
I didn't set out to find a recipe to make this dip, it just kind of found me.  However, I knew I had most of the ingredients at home, so I went for it!  I LOVE avocados.  Like, could eat 2-3 a day... mmmm.  The feta added such a creaminess flavor that I really could just eat it all day.  The pita chips in the photo look great too, but alas, I'll just use bell pepper to dip!

I seeded and cut the ribs out of my jalapeno because I wasn't sure just how spicy I'd like it.  The next time I make it, I'll keep a bit of heat in the pepper.

Also, if you don't have a super power blender... this may be a challenging recipe.  My Ninja even needed me to speak nicely to it to get it all blended.  It is super thick, but oh so yummy.

I used Reduced Fat Feta - It called for 1/2c. but I used my full 6oz. package.  This may have added to the difficulty in blending.

Go make it and eat up!

And for my next trick..
I love me some oatmeal.  I eat it almost every morning with some sort of fruit, chia seeds, walnuts, and a sweetener of some sort.  When I came across this website (which I will definitely be making more of her things!) I knew I needed this oatmeal in my life.  However, I do know that this will be a treat for me and not an everyday morning occurrence because I may not be able to control the portions if it is as yummy as I'm hoping!

I'll sub the natural peanut butter for almond butter.  There is also a chance my milk is bad (don't judge), so I may be using my Almond Coconut Milk instead of the regular milk.  I really wanted to find unsweetened coconut, but I also didn't want to go all around town last night with the kid, so we settled at Walmart and they only had the sweetened version.

I'll make this tonight and let everyone know how it goes!

In other news,
My amazing Mom just purchase me and my sister a Fitbit.  I really just thought (may still think) it is a glorified pedometer with sleep tracking.  But, I'm going to give it a whirl and see how it goes.  I've had some reviews that it may not track my running steps or my work out steps, etc.  So, I'm open to any suggestions on how you make it work the best for you!

Absolutely love love love this quote!

Feb 27, 2014

Valentine's Day!

About 3 weeks ago my husband, Tim, informed me that he would be taking care of Valentine's Day.  I believe that is a woman's dream come true, I didn't have to think, plan, make reservations, etc.  It was going to be done for me!  (Thankfully, my Mom was coming to town to watch Olivia.  She is awesome like that.)  My husband is an amazing man, husband, and father.  He does so much for me and our daughter that I often find it hard to repay him.  He truly is my better half!

Once I learned he was planning the day, I decided I should probably find him a pretty awesome gift.  He doesn't want much, nor does he shop much, so... I went the functional route... something for our home (and it doesn't hurt that I LOVE it just as much).  I was born near Oklahoma City and he was born in Andrews, Texas.  It is always a running feud betweeen us as to who lived(s) in the better state.  So, I found something we would both agree on!  (Sorry it is sideways!)

This beautiful creation came from Herring Design Co. - I searched through many, many string art designers and was most impressed by her intricate detailing in her work.  Not to mention, she worked with me on price and shipping (bonus!) since it was so close to Valentine's Day!  I defintely recommend you check out her work!  She even does shapes and objects and words!  Just awesome.

So, back to Valentine's Day.  The day was finally here and Tim had me pick up his dry cleaning.  He was wearing slacks and a nice long-sleeved button up shirt... I just wanted to crawl into my pajamas.  However, I didn't.  I got myself all prettied up.  We even took a selfie.  It turned out to be a great picture of the two of us.  I think we only had one out-take... he had to learn the dos and dont's of selfies. :)

Tim brought a tie with us to try and blindfold me when we got close the destination... I decided that wasn't a great idea since I get car sick, so I just put my head down.  Once I was escorted out of the car and safely up the steps, I got to open my eyes.  We were in a restaurant that had model planes hanging from the ceiling.  I knew I had heard of the place and guessed it was a terminal, but the best was yet to come... after our romantic dinner for two, we were going FLYING over Dallas in a little plane!

Fair Park - Cotton Bowl Stadium

I was beyond excited and so, so grateful.  He had spent the time to find us the perfect surprise and he was just as giddy.  It really made it such a special day to share that memory as a couple.

The Reunion Tower in Dallas was in full Valentine's Mode!

Feb 13, 2014

Do you smell that funk?

I have this funk.  I have this funk surrounding me like thick smog.

It came back with me after my work trip last week.  Last Tuesday I left town for a work conference.  The SkinnyMeg diet bet was ending on Wednesday.  I knew I had to keep myself in control until the bet was over and then I could relax a bit.  The work conference was in Austin, Texas; the restaurant capital of Texas.  My coworkers already had restaurants lined up to visit!  Note: I am not a lifelong clean eater.  I really am not even sure I have made clean eating a lifestyle just yet.  Do I know what I need to do?  Yes.  Do I know how to clean eat?  Yes.  Do I know what changes I begin to see when clean eating?  Absolutely.  Do I like it?  Not all the time.  I like to binge, I like to have my cravings and enjoy them.

I ate Cracker Barrell (healthy menu) and chicken fajitas on Tuesday.  I drank water like a fish trying to ward off any sodium whiplash for Wednesday morning weigh in.  Wednesday morning, I won that Dietbet!  I came in under my goal weight and was finally able to relax.  Well, relax I did.  My hotel room didn't have a refrigerator or I would have totally brought my own breakfast items.  Eating out 3 meals a day for 3 days can actually be tiring and super expensive.  I had Mexican, crepes, pizza, dessert, mojitos, paninis... etc, etc. etc.  I kept up my water intake, but I still came home from Austin with weight gain.

Wednesday DietBet - 151.6
Friday Back at Home - 156.0

It is amazing how much weight I can put back on.  Did my pants feel tighter?  No.  Did I feel like a slob? Yeah.  I know I preach to stay away from the scale, but sometimes I need my own reality check and I knew it was going to be nasty.

Fast forward to today... today I weighed in at my Health Screening at 154.0.  I'm still hanging on to some of the Austin weight.  And you know why?  Because I'm in a mini funk.  I hurt my foot on a long run Sunday morning.  I didn't work out Tuesday, I went Wednesday, and skipped again this morning.  I've been working out religiously since August 3-4 days a week.  So yes, everyone can get into a funk, it is just HOW you're going to get back out of it.

My eating has still been crap which I believe adds to my funk.  I'm more tired, my stomach is not always settled, and I'm just overall blah.

So, I am not giving up.  I'm headed right now to the foot doctor to make sure I haven't done something terrible and then I am moving forward.  Long runs this weekend, back to working out next week (espcially since my motivator and morning gossip buddy is having a baby in 20 days), I've gotta get my head back in the game!

How do you get the funk off of you??


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